It is dark in our little room. There is the glow of the monitor and its aqua colored numbers and “wave patterns”. A little teeny red glow on the bed which is her O2 monitor stuck to her big toe. Outside of her room i can hear all the nurses being busy getting ready to change shifts. And blessedly, I don’t hear Kendall. She is calmly sleeping, not fighting coughing, not wheezing, not grunting. Her numbers reflect a baby finally in deep sleep and I am so happy for her. I think today will be a good turning point for her. I ALMOST got a smile out of her last nite but then her little mind must have remembered some traumatic part of that day and she started tellin’ me all about it with her pitiful little raspy cry. So i stand at her bedside and I hold her IV arm against her chest and I adjust all her cords around her so that she doesn’t grab anything and yank it, and I tuck her special pink blanket around her and I sing to her. I make up words to random tunes – they rarely rhyme and their rhythm is severely lacking. Couple this with the fact that I myself am having a hard time breathing (I have the same cold as Kendall) and that I am not a good singer in the first place and I am sure its less than pleasing to the ear.
But it makes my little girl happy. And she sucks on her big green binkie and stares at me till she can no longer hold her eyes open as i sing her story back to her to the tune of “Jesus Loves Me”. And her heartrate calms down, and her breathing slows and falls into a good pattern, and she is asleep again. This journey of Kendall’s is a whole new world of mothering. I would never have thought I had the strength to get through something like this – and I know that this isn’t even as bad as what some moms endure EVERY DAY, day in and day out.
So for now this is our norm. I like this quiet dark time. I should have brought my Bible Study book- i might actually be able to catch up! Any minute now they will bring my breakfast tray. I can’t complain – the food here isn’t too bad. I don’t get a choice of what to eat – I am on “breastfeeding nutrition – mother of infant” tray plan. I think someone said we get pancakes today. Pancakes are good. But they will not be nearly as good as unlimited IHOP, which is the only other pancake in the world equal to my daddy’s special pancakes. (Note – random randomness just ahead..) You know, it took me almost 25 years to realize that there really wasn’t anything AMAZING about my dad’s pancakes. We just always called them “special pancakes”. And therefore they WERE special. As a kid i was AMAZED when I would be presented with my plate with my “T” shaped pancakes with m&m’s. douse them with some good country crock and Aunt Jemima’s and mmmmmmmm – little piece O heaven on earth. As a mom now, I can only imagine my mother’s utter frustration with my dad taking such immense care and painstaking amounts of time to create “initials” for all 5 kids’ pancakes. But I reminisce about this because I think what’s important is that it’s not WHAT you do for your kids that makes things/life special – its THAT you do it. Making pancakes is a labor of love, even if you do just add a cup of water to a cup of Krusteaz, mix and pour on griddle. But ANY breakfast with your family is special simply because you’re all there.
I miss my family. For some reason I am really really missing Kaylen’s chunkiness right now. She is such a solid kid – my little “peanut” baby who fit in the dolly stroller for the first 2 months of her life is now my little brute. We joke all the time that SHE will be the one who defends all her sisters. Do not mess with an Atkinson girl or you will have to pay the Kaylenator! i want to comb her crazy hair and squish her chubby cheeks with my teeth like I do every morning. I want to feel her weight in my arms and know that someday I will get Kendall that big too.
I am worried for Kealey who takes on so much responsibility. I think she is even now guarding herself when I talk to her, knowing that if she talks about her feelings it will make me cry, and she doesn’t like it when I cry. She’s such a big girl. Her birthday is this week and I hope like HECK that we are outta this place in time for me to plan her “Hannah-kins” party. (this is a concoction of Kealey’s whereby all things Hannah Montana and Webkinz are morphed into three hours of crazy fun…)And yet, if her party gets pushed back, she’ll take it like the trooper that she is. She is so mature beyond her almost 7 years. I am sure she is doing her best to hold things together at home.
And of course there’s miss loose cannon herself, Karissa Lynn. She vacillates between being concerned for me and Kendall and being completely oblivious to the fact that I am not at home and she is talking to me on the phone from far away. But that’s Karissa. Only dealing with a small portion of her world at a time because life is way more fun in La-La Land, where she’s a princess-mommy-named-Elise-who’s-a-beautiful-ballerina-dancer-girl-that-everyone-cheers-for. It’s her job description.
And the quiet is disturbed.
A team of NICU nurses has come in to try to poke my daughter’s abused little veins for the millionth time for more blood. Just when her numbers were looking so calm. The bright lights are on and the pain begins.
Rude awakening indeed.
thanks for listening to my random meanderings. And for commenting – i cannot tell you how much they all mean to me.